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HINDU  HOLLYWOOD                                        99
Beverfey Hills is a quiet suburb which does not boast a single
swimming pool. Xo tourists even go to see it, no photographers
ever pry their way over the garden walls. When the star walks
out to her taxi in the morning, nobody turns his head. There is
no demand for 'personal appearances' in India,
Maybe she lives so quietly because her career is so short. Its
end is as sudden as its beginning. Strange as it will sound to the
Western director, an Indian girl may be starred in a- full-length
role within a few days of her first screen-test, and neither she nor
anybody else sees anything odd in it. She twinkles brightly for a
very few years—three is considered quite a long life—and then,
suddenly, she disappears. The public have had enough of her*
Why, nobody seems to know. She may be prettier, she may be a
better actress ; it makes no difference. Out hhe goes.
Compared T\ith the wages of the stars, the wages of the rest of
the personnel are modest, and of the writers, pitiable. For the
complete scenario and dialogue of a full-length film an author
considers himself lucky to receive two hundred rupees, which is
about sixty dollars* That is one reason why Indian films are
marking time. But there are others, as we shall see. We can
best illustrate them son the set.'
It was late in the afternoon when we returned to the studio.
A love scene was in progress. At least, it appeared to be a love
scene, but somehow it never seemed to get going.
The village maiden was making cheep's eyes at a young man
with a swelling chest. If ever a girl was saying " Come on' she was
saying it, and if ever a chest were swelling because its owner was
activated by 'Coming on5 instincts, this was the chest in question.
But nothing happened, nothing, that is to say, in the nature of
a clinch. The eyes shouted 'come on' in even louder accents, the
chest bwelle-d to bursting point (till, in sympathy, one fouud
oneself puffing out like a pouter pigeon), fingers were twined,
necks were arched, eyelashes fluttered like the wings of moths—
but no clinch.
'This can't go on,' I found myself muttering.   'But really, no